Regardless of how heavily your generator gets used each time you pull it out of storage there are certain practices you should be following. Not only will good upkeep and usage practices help prolong your generator's life expectancy but they'll also help ensure you get the best possible performance from it each time you use it. Further, good maintenance practices will also prevent catastrophic break-downs and potentially dangerous failures.
Best Practices for Periods of Downtime
There are certain behaviors you need to make a part of your regular habits when dealing with your generator. One of the most important is removing any fuel from the tank before storing the device, as gasoline can contain sediment which will settle out during storage. Draining the tank will help prevent this particulate from clogging your fuel line and preventing a clean start.
Even if you're unlikely to use it for a while, a few simple checks can tell you whether or not you're ready for a storm. Just fueling it up and letting it run for 20 minutes can often be enough, and feeding power to a device will tell you if it's producing electricity. If either of these aren't the case it's a good idea to have your generator looked at by a small engine mechanic or generator contractor. Regardless, it's a good idea to have your generator serviced prior to a big project or the beginning of severe weather season to check for potential problems before they come up.
Maintenance During Operation
Before running your generator for a long period make sure you've stocked up on oil, oil filters and fuel. This will help you avoid making a mad dash to the store at the last minute, such as during a major renovation or in the middle of a severe storm. It's also a good idea to make sure your generator is grounded prior to beginning operation, especially if you're using it during severe weather conditions. You can do this by sinking a steel rod into the ground and securing a chain around the base of your generator.
During refueling, make sure you shut down your generator completely and allow it to cool. This will help you avoid potential flare ups in the event you spill or splash while pouring. You should also be ready to change your oil and filter based on your generator's manual. For most generators that works out to every fifty to sixty hours, less if it's brand new.
When well-cared for, your generator can last for years without a problem, so make sure you're using it within its limits and tending to maintenance needs consistently. Done right, a good generator will be ready when you need it.
To learn more, contact a generator service company like Powell's Electric Service, Inc.